In Australia, video games could not be rated as adults only or 18+ until January 1, 2013. Since the adoption of the Classification (Publications, Films, and Computer Games) Act 1995, an 18+ classification rating has been offered for additional forms of media for this reason. A video game with content deemed improper for persons under the age of 18 would have been ‘Refused Classification’ by the Australian Classification Board (ACB) prior to 1 January 2013 under this act. In Australia, video game classification is required, and content that is not classified is prohibited from sale, hire, or import.
Duke Nukem 3D, Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto IV, Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead 2, Mortal Kombat (2011), and The House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut are some of the notable video games in the Australian gaming localization industry that were refused classification by the ACB prior to the introduction of an R18+ for video games. The publishers changed the majority of these titles, reclassifying them as MA15+ and making them eligible for purchase in Australia. Despite the fact that some games (such as GTA 3 and Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition) were subsequently rated R18+ uncut and The House of the Dead: Overkill was given an uncut 15+ on appeal, some games (such as GTA 3 and Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition) were later rated 18+ uncut.
The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General decided in principle on July 22, 2011 to submit legislation allowing video games to be classified 18+. On January 1, 2013, amendments to the Classification (Publications, Films, and Computer Games) Act 1995 went into effect, allowing video games to be rated for adults only. Games that were rejected classification prior to 1 January 2013 can be reclassified as 18+ and sold in Australia provided the game’s publisher asks for reclassification and pays a fee.
If games depict, express, or otherwise deal with sex, substance use or addiction, killing, cruelty, terrorism, or shocking or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency, and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults, they can still be refused classification and banned from sale.
Material that is rejected categorization is placed on a list of forbidden materials maintained by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. Any copies of these games discovered at the border would be seized, and the recipient might face fines of up to AUD$110,000, depending on the quantity of copies imported.
Refused Classification products, such as games, are legal to possess, use, access, or produce (with the exception of Western Australia). A Refused Classification grade, on the other hand, indicates that the generated item is not allowed to be sold in Australia.